Learn about the services offered by Dr. Otte


In both individual and group settings, I use the following types of therapy:

  • Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)
  • Existential
  • Family Systems
  • Jungian
  • Psychodynamic

The three fundamental touchpoints of my therapeutic approach are:


Spirituality isn't religion

This bears repeating: spirituality is not religion. In fact, sadly, very religious people are often severely lacking in any spirituality. For me, spirituality is the acceptance of mystery: that there is an undefinable Power that is unseen and incomprehensible to the human mind and, this Power is completely present and active in daily life.

Faith in this Power develops from the three needed principles provided in 12-step programs and summarized by the acronym “HOW”. HOW means Honesty, Open-mindedness, and Willingness. Sadly, most humans, myself included, lack in all three principles, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to implement them in our life. If we are willing to try to be honest, open-minded regarding a benevolent Mystery, or Higher Power if you will, and we are willing to speak our truth, experience will lead us to faith.

I have never seen this process fail, and the only requirement to start is intention. It’s a wondrous and beautiful thing, and a little frightening when experienced. Why? Because it is change, and because it’s the experience of Grace which is another word for change. It continues to baffle me why we resist our deepest desire. But we do. Spirituality in psychotherapy means an acceptance that the Power we can’t understand – which I call love – is most present in relationships, therapy included.


More than a bad habit

Addiction, as opposed to a bad habit, is a disease of the body, mind, and spirit. As a friend of mine says, it’s a whole person disease. There are three criteria for any behavior to qualify as an addiction:

  1. Obsession: the constant, repetitive, circular thinking about a drug, a person, or a behavior.
  2. Compulsion: engaging in a behavior, using something to alter mood, against one’s will.
  3. Craving: the hunger, or irresistible need (can be on a cellular level) that drives the addictive behavior.

In my experience addiction is often best treated through a combination of some type of spiritually-based program, like the 12-step fellowships, and either individual or group psychotherapy.

Addiction, to borrow from the Big Book of AA, is “cunning baffling, and powerful”. My experience and my belief is that the most successful battles with addiction are fought with spiritual help, as opposed to one’s own will power, strength, or convictions. I am not claiming that this is the only way to get well; it’s the only way I know. Having said that, I am continually amazed at how different and varied my client’s paths to healing and health are.

There’s no one way, there are a thousand paths to health and wellbeing. There is a great paradox to the cure of addiction, it is only through acceptance, surrender, and love that we get well. I mean complete and total acceptance and surrender of our addict selves. Only then do we accept that love cures all, that the Power that is love will change us.


Addressing body, mind, and spirit

Today, as opposed to even 20 years ago, there are medications that help. But depression is also a “thought” disease. Depression talks to us and tells us that the negative ideas we carry about ourselves are true; they are our reality when we are depressed.

In that way, depression has many similarities to addiction. Our thinking and core beliefs need to change. The shame and guilt we carry be transformed. And, again, this happens through a renewal of the spirit. The beauty is that we don’t even have to acknowledge that Power to change: we just need to accept that change is happening.

As in all solid psychotherapy, this can be very painful and difficult. But people do get well and if the therapy is solid, we learn to diagnose ourselves and know what we need (medication, spirituality, and sometimes therapy) to get well.

The body aspect of depression is usually evident in the following symptoms: low energy, sleep problems, appetite disturbance, and an inability to concentrate. In my experience, these symptoms are often very effectively treated by medication, something an amazing amount of people resist. I always use the analogy of diabetes; if you had diabetes would you refuse to take insulin? Brain chemistry is no different than blood chemistry. Some of us need the help of medication to balance our neurotransmitters, that’s the truth of it.